Conference Paper

HyberLoc: Providing physical layer location privacy in hybrid sensor networks

El-Badry R.
Sultan A.
Youssef M.

In many hybrid wireless sensor networks' applications, sensor nodes are deployed in hostile environments where trusted and un-trusted nodes co-exist. In anchor-based hybrid networks, it becomes important to allow trusted nodes to gain full access to the location information transmitted in beacon frames while, at the same time, prevent un-trusted nodes from using this information. The main challenge is that un-trusted nodes can measure the physical signal transmitted from anchor nodes, even if these nodes encrypt their transmission. Using the measured signal strength, un-trusted nodes can still tri-laterate the location of anchor nodes. In this paper, we propose HyberLoc, an algorithm that provides anchor physical layer location privacy in anchor-based hybrid sensor networks. The idea is for anchor nodes to dynamically change their transmission power following a certain probability distribution, degrading the localization accuracy at un-trusted nodes while maintaining high localization accuracy at trusted nodes. Given an average power constraint, our analysis shows that the discretized exponential distribution is the distribution that maximizes location uncertainty at the untrusted nodes. Detailed evaluation through analysis, simulation, and implementation shows that HyberLoc gives trusted nodes up to 3.5 times better localization accuracy as compared to untrusted nodes. ©2010 IEEE.